MAZ vehicles surely ready to pass across rough roads

Minsk Automobile Works introduces team for Dakar-2015

By Igor Grishin

Minsk Automobile Works introduces team for Dakar-2015

The racers admit that Belarusian roads are a true pleasure, and utterly smooth, in comparison with those used in the Dakar Rally. So rough is the route that your back and head are left aching from being jolted and everything blurs before the eyes. The team admits that you eventually shut out the pain and become like a robot, although the temperature in the cab can reach 45 degrees. Moreover, it’s necessary to do more than simply steer.

Last training at testing area near Minsk
Last training at testing area near Minsk

Fortunately, the drivers of our MAZ racing cars assert that Belarusian trucks rival any made worldwide, and are even better in some respects.  MAZ cars’ main competitors are those from DAF, GINAF, Nino, IVECO, LIAZ, MAN, Mercedes-Benz and Renault. During training, the Belarusian team has introduced and tested new technical innovations, reducing the weight of their cars by installing an aluminium fuel tank and new, lighter cardan shaft. Meanwhile, the plastic elements of truck bodies have been modernised too, reducing weight by over 100kg. Increased reliability is thanks to Yaroslavl Motor Plant providing a revamped engine, raising the horsepower of Sergey Vyazovich’s flagship race car to 920.

The captain of MAZ-SPORT, Valery Kozlovsky, tells us that the team is aiming for a medal in the forthcoming rally, or at least a place in the top ten. He notes the crew’s determination, despite lack of training. Dakar-2015 will be the fourth for the Belarusian team, which has been improving its result in the rally every year. Last year, the crew, headed by driver Sergey Vyazovich, took 11th place in the all-round standings, after 13 stages of the race. Alexander Vasilevsky’s crew took 31st place in the truck nomination.

МТ’s reference:

Dakar-2015 will be held from January 4th until January 17th, 2015, across Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. The MAZ-SPORT vehicles are already in French Le Havre to undergo technical checks, and will then head to Latin America. The team of 29 people, plus TV crew, will leave for Buenos Aires at the end of December. The cost of entering three racing vehicles and three technical support trucks is 294 thousand Euros, plus about 60 thousand Euros paid for the jeep-‘assistant’ and brigade of journalists.
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